This has been in progress for months now and I'm so so so glad it's finally finished. First try at a Hotel Transylvania fic, hopefully no one is to OOC. Takes some liberties with vampire lore not mentioned in the movie. Characters not mine, please enjoy! Comments are awesome.
In an unusual turn of events, Dracula is happy.
He hasn't been happy in more than a century, at least not like this. There will always be a hole in his heart for his Martha, the love he had and always will have for her, but things are different now. He's gotten a second chance. The silly human boy who had stumbled into Hotel Transylvania nearly a year ago would have seemed an unlikely candidate had Dracula even believed in a second chance at a zing, but the boy grew on him, somehow wrangled his way into his heart without his notice, and planted himself firmly there. He'd hid it all, for a while, when he'd thought Jonathan had zinged with Mavis, had nearly killed himself trying to get him to come back for her after he'd messed it all up. He'd been wrong on that count, and Mavis was quite content to spend her time exploring the world on her own for now. And, amazingly, Johnny was content to stay with him.
He had his hotel, he had an amazing daughter he couldn't be prouder of, and he had Johnny.
He was happy. They were happy.
So, obviously, it couldn't last.
Things go bad one bright and sunny day (Johnny has learned that Dracula hates bright and sunny days, they make the hotel far too visible and even though the nearby populace doesn't seem to mind them too much, it still makes him a jittery kind of nervous that sets him on edge for days afterward) on one of the rare days Dracula needs to sleep. On such days, Johnny's taken to exploring the sprawling Haunted Forest (not so much the Land of the Undead at the edges (frankly, he's not sure how he got passed that the first time around and he has no desire to figure it out)) in an attempt to map the area, and it's array of creepy traps, for his own use. He only needed to fall into a pit of quicksand once to learn that this would be a necessary undertaking if he planned to stick around (which he does, thank you very much).
It is a little less haunted and a little more visible during the day, and Dracula is no fun at all when he's all sleep-grumpy, so why not get some work done?
Johnny's closer to the far side of the forest than the castle when he realizes something is amiss. Voices. He can hear voices. He has let himself in on the day-to-day affairs of the hotel (despite Dracula's initial protests on the matter) and he knows that no guests are expected today - yet another reason why he opted for exploring rather than sitting around in the lobby. And the fact that whoever is approaching is not on the main path that the monsters regularly use is also a perplexing one. He suspects they are up to no good.
Ignoring the urge to investigate, to see just who (or what, since what is an option now, with the abundance of monsters that have, in fact, proven to be real) is braving the hazards of this part of the forest (there are several, he's noted, including an orchard enchanted to throw fruit at any passersby, a field that has snakes instead of grass, and what is quite possibly a Siren hiding in a small lake, just to name a few), he starts the trek back to the safety of the magnificent castle that he's calling home.
He'll hurry back, using his map to navigate around the obstacles meant to trip up any unwanted guests, and warn them all that danger may be coming. It's more important that Dracula knows that something is coming. His curiosity will have to wait.
Its times like this he wishes his phone actually worked. He has it with him, if only because it keeps him from getting lost and doubles as a flashlight should he not get back before dark (Drac has found him by phone-light on more than one occasion (including the quicksand incident)), but it is useless as a phone out here. If he could just call back to the hotel, then Dracula could just fly out and meet him, grumpy as he'd be at being woken up early, and they could stop the strangers before they could even get close. As it is, he doubts he'll be all that far ahead of them, despite his advantage at knowing the terrain.
He's got about a mile left to go when he hears the voices again. There's one off to his left and another not far behind him. When he hears another to his right, he really starts to worry. Are they surrounding him?
Moving faster, he dodges through the maze of spider webs with a little less grace than usual. He has to get back to the Hotel. Something is wrong and they need to know. They'll be in danger - the guests, the staff, and Dracula. Mavis, at least, isn't there. She's off in Puerto Rico, intent on meeting a Chupacabra before she continues on with her travels.
"Almost there," he tells himself, as he breaks into a run. If he can get across the bridge, he'll be okay. They won't be able to follow him. "Almost there."
"Human!" He hears one of the voices call, and another voice shouts back in agreement. Alarmingly, this is followed by a command of, "Take him!" from someone who is presumably the leader of this gang.
But he's not letting them catch him. He runs, runs faster than he ever has before, until his legs burn and his throat is dry. He can see the light where the trees end. He's so close. Surely someone will see him if he gets that far, right?
Before he can break through, a weight like a truck hits him from the right sends him to the ground with enough force to knock the wind out of him. Hands are on him before he can get it back, grabbing at his wrists, keeping them pinned together as the heavy weight lifts off of him. Someone else pulls his backpack off and starts riffling through it, and the last man circles around to look him over.
"Oh, you guys are in so much trouble," Jonathan finally finds the strength to speak, after someone has hauled him up to his knees. "You have no idea who you're messing with."
The man in front of him grabs his chin, tilts his head to the side to expose the spot on his neck where Dracula's left a set of puncture marks. He smirks, and nods to one of the others. "I think I do, actually," he says, as the second man shoves a strong smelling cloth at Johnny's face, forcing him to breathe in whatever poison it's been laced with.
The world gets dark quickly, but Jonathan would swear he hears a name that sounds familiar before he completely blacks out.
Dracula wakes, rested and relaxed, just as the sun is setting.
He stops by the kitchen for a pint of his favorite blood substitute to sate his thirst, nodding a greeting to his new chef - one who will not continuously attempt to abduct Johnny for the purpose of turning him into the main course. He checks in with the Suit of Armor to make sure nothing is amiss, and when he learns that nothing is, he inquires as to Johnny's location.
"He went out with his maps early this morning," his head of security reports. "He has not returned yet."
"I see," Dracula nods. He remembers Johnny telling him he was thinking about working on his project, but typically when he's gone this long it's because he can't get back, whether because he's lost or because he's gotten a little too close to one of the Haunted Forest's preventative measures. "I'll just go track him down, I suppose."
"Very well, sir."
Dracula takes his leave, eager to locate his companion. However, he makes the mistake of leaving via the lobby and finds himself pulled into a conversation with a trio of headless horsemen that holds him up for longer than intended.
By the time he actually does start looking for the tell-tale glow of Jonathan's phone, he is legitimately concerned as to why the boy has not yet returned. Something must be wrong.
He shifts into his bat and does a full circuit of the Haunted Forest, even briefly hovers over what Johnny has started calling 'Zombieland,' and yet he sees no trace of the light.
"Has he come back?" He demands of the first employee he sees upon returning to the hotel. They'll all know who he means. He gets a negative reply, and he flies off again before another word can be said. "Think, think, think," he tells himself, flying in circles. Last time Jonathan went out mapping, he'd been working near the snakefields. Dracula had had to warn him about that one in advance. He drops to land, intent on finding the nearest ghost and getting some answers.
He doesn't actually need to find one, though, doesn't even need to land. As he gets closer to the ground, his sensitive bat ears pick up on a noise. One of those songs that Johnny has on his phone is blaring; he's surprised he didn't hear it before. But if Johnny's using it for that, why won't he signal? Maybe he's not in trouble after all, maybe he just lost track of time.
The knot in his stomach loosens a little, and he takes off toward the sound, surprised when it leads almost all the way back to the castle itself. He's barely a half a mile into the forest. "Johnny?" He calls out, sharp eyes scanning for any sign of him.
"Aha!" He grins in triumph when he spots Johnny's backpack leaned against a nearby tree. Johnny's never far away from that. "Jonathan!"
No answer comes, though. And the volume of the music suggests that he is not employing those annoying little ear-pod thingies today, so there's no reason he shouldn't be able to hear Dracula's calls for him. The worry creeps back in and then multiplies tenfold when he spots the phone in the middle of the path, music still blaring. He reaches down for it, when the smell hits him - blood.
Blood. Blood, Johnny's blood, and that realization sends him into crazy mode, jaws snapping and eyes flashing red in incomprehensible outrage, unable to even form words.
When it stops - that's not to say that he's calm, not even close - he notices something else.
In his rage, he's woken Jonathan's phone. An unsent message, because it cannot be sent out here, is typed on the screen. 'You know where we are,' it reads.
The glow of the phone illuminates the letters 'VH' painted on the blood-stained grass.
And, oh, he knows.